A trio of BMW 3 Series sedans
Patrick Rall's picture

7,600 2012 BMW 3 Series recalled for faulty headrests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and BMW have announced a recall of select 3 Series sedans from the 2012 model year over a concern that the headrest could move more than it should and in the event of an accident – the headrest could fail to provide proper restraint which may cause injuries to the driver and/or passenger.
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This new BMW recall of select 2012 model year 3 Series sedans pertains to vehicles built between October 19th 2011 and March 18th 2012. In these vehicles, the front headrests that exceed the maximum downward movement standards of 25 millimeters so these 7,600 BMW sedans are in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 202 A pertaining to Head Restraints”. What this means is that when you extend the driver and passenger adjustable headrest to the highest possible position, the headrest can shift downward by more than an inch suddenly…such as in the event of an accident. The safety issue lies in the fact that when the headrest shifts down by that unexpected inch, there is an increase chance of injury to the driver and passenger in the event that the headrest shifts and does not provide proper support during the collision.

Considering that the body generally moves forward and away from the headrests in the event of a front end impact – the safety risk with this BMW 3 Series headrest recall could pertain to rear end impacts. For a taller driver or front passenger who has the headrests adjusted properly but sometime between adjusting and the moment of impact – that headrest shifts down a little. When hit from behind, the driver or front passenger’s neck could contact the headrest rather than the back of their head – likely creating a fairly uncomfortable whiplash situation and vastly increasing the chances of injury.

BMW will begin contacting owners later this month, asking the owners of thee 7,600 2012 BMW 3 Series sedans to return to their local dealership where a company technician will modify the front seat headrest adjusting components to prevent this unwanted movement. A clamp will be applied to prevent the posts from moving beyond the allowable point – preventing any future problems with the headrests moving around on their own and helping to keep the driver and passengers of the 2012 BMW 3 Series safe and sound. For those who are unsure, the work performed as part of this recall repair will be done free of charge to the owners and for those popping into a dealership for a quick fix – the modifications to the headrest system shouldn’t be very time consuming provided that the dealership service department has a free bay when you arrive.


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